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Reasonable Doubt: Update

Monday, January 11, 2016 - 02:01 PM

Abandoned sneaker on a beach (phunkstarr/flickr/CC-BY-2.0)

In 2013 our producer Pat Walters reported out the story of Penny Beerntsen, the rape victim from our Reasonable Doubt segment. Last month, Netflix premiered its documentary series on Steven Avery, the man falsely imprisoned for Beerntsen’s case. We’ve recently talked with the producers of Making and Murderer and have an update. 


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Comments [21]

Canon from Atlanta, GA

The makers of the documentary make a great point in saying that the viewers need to get to a state of being okay with ambiguity and that the purpose of the documentary was not to identify who is guilty and who is innocent. This leads to a further point, which is that it doesn't matter if Avery DID or DID NOT commit the crime, nor does it matter WHO did commit the crime. What does matter is if the state could prove BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT that he did. Our country has amazing freedoms and rights granted to its citizens, one of which is innocence until guilt is PROVEN. Nothing was proven in this case, it was all hear-say. Unfortunately, hear-say, presentation of a narrative (whether true or false), and public perception often sways a jury more than evidence, which leaves the only recourse as appealing through a Judge, which leaves the "guilty" shit out of luck.

Apr. 19 2016 11:06 AM
More please from San Francisco

Would like an update on the Steve Avery side; maybe it wasn't him the second time??? Maybe Penny was right about his character??

Also - have been hearing more and more that eye witnesses are the least reliable source.. would've been good to touch on that, too. Stats on how often eye witnesses wrongfully get the wrong guy.

Apr. 12 2016 03:20 PM
J Faulkner II from Marshall, MN.

That is why eye witness testimony and polygraph tests are the worst evidences used in our court system. The data is interpreted by the brain not recorded in the brain.

Mar. 14 2016 05:38 AM
Csteeze from portland

How can she be "so sure" and be so awful. I know you messed up Penny, but dang. i could be that guy or my dad or my brother or my uncle. All because some stupid woman "knows" its him who raped her.

Feb. 20 2016 05:21 AM

I find the constant interruption mid-sentence by the interviewer completely off-putting and unnessessary. Just let them talk please!

Feb. 15 2016 01:26 AM


Trust me when I say that the wording of that comment is misleading you. Without saying anything else, you are still good to watch Making a Murderer.

Jan. 26 2016 09:14 PM
Meaghan Clark from San Francisco

It doesn't surprise me, as a new fan, that Radiolab covered this story early on. I love that your team decided to remain relevant and provide an update with some new details from the filmmakers. There are so many twists in this story that it's hard not to keep searching for more answers!

Jan. 26 2016 03:37 PM

If you're going to come on here and discuss confessions and all sorts of other spoilers can you please begin your comment with "Spoiler Ahead" or some other warning. I was looking forward to MofM but now after readingthe 1st sentence of the 1st I saw I now know the entire plot twist and who confesses. Come on people...

Jan. 25 2016 01:06 PM
john peterson

I was shocked when I watched MofM, I was also shocked when I watched the complete confession of the nephew. The show left out some major points. I think this is a case like OJ....the police framed him and he did it.

Jan. 21 2016 10:32 PM
Santos from Shady Vale

The certitude of Judge Halbach is just absurd. "Did we do anything wrong?" Nope. Avery was just an outlier. He sounds so credible here, but if you see MaM, you see he is just terrible.

Jan. 19 2016 04:05 PM

Why is everyone saying that this is click bait? The updates and new commentary start a little before the 27:00 mark...

Jan. 19 2016 01:32 PM
Christine from SF


This update?

Jan. 18 2016 06:01 PM
Roq from Seattle, WA

Thanks for posting. This story really stuck with me, and when MaM came out, I was indeed curious what y'all had to say about it.

Jan. 15 2016 02:09 PM

This is not a click bait story, they are resurfacing their episode that covered this story. Interesting listen, I never forgot this story after hearing it.

Jan. 14 2016 09:14 PM
peppigue from Norway

Radiolab is great, but this website could use some cleaning up. The blog and podcast list are out of tune.

Jan. 14 2016 05:19 PM
Dennis from New York

??? Didn't think Radiolab would stoop to click bait tactics. Where's the update???

Jan. 14 2016 03:38 PM
Matthew Kime

I'm confused - where's the update? Is it forthcoming? etc.

Jan. 14 2016 03:03 PM

Anyone know what the music-piece the last minutes is called? tia:)

Jan. 14 2016 01:02 PM
Kyle from Omaha

I think you spelled Beerntsen's name wrong the second time, unless your referring to a Bernstein that had something to do with the case?

Jan. 13 2016 10:34 AM

I am very eager to hear Radiolab's take on this! - Kelsey

Jan. 12 2016 04:11 PM
nada from australia

Nice! I wonder what you make of it. It's a tough one ... in terms of trying to prove anything.

Jan. 12 2016 12:53 AM

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